Gameweek 9 would see a return to domestic action after the international break, and it kicked off with West Ham United travelling to Goodison Park to face Everton. Aston Villa would face Brighton and Hove Albion while Chelsea hosted Newcastle United. Elsewhere, Leicester welcomed Burnley to the King Power, while Spurs needed a big result against Watford in North London. Later, we would see Manchester City travel to Palace. The gameweek ended off with Manchester United facing Liverpool, before Arsenal travelled to Sheffield. Anyway, here’s the FPL Updates gameweek review…
Jordan Pickford – After appearing twice for his country over the international break, Jordan Pickford lined up between the sticks for Everton after a very difficult start to the season for Marco Silva’s side. As the pressure began to mount on the former Watford and Hull City boss it was becoming clear that the Toffees needed to beat West Ham at Goodison on Saturday. They turned in a brilliant display on the way to three points, however, they may have Pickford to thank as he denied Angelo Ogbonna brilliantly late on.
Marcos Alonso – Things are really starting to get going at Chelsea under the leadership of Frank Lampard this season. They welcomed Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge, with the Magpies still buzzing off their brilliant win against Manchester United last time out. They were difficult to break down and as the clock ran down it seemed as if they may return to the North-East with a point. However, Marcos Alonso broke the deadlock for the Blues deep into the second half to ensure a solid win for Lampard’s side.
Daryl Janmaat – Two sides in awful form faced off in North London as Spurs welcomed Watford to their new home. The home side were shell shocked when Watford went in front early courtesy of a wonderful goal from Abdoulaye Doucouré. The away side should have then had a penalty when Gerard Deulofeu was brought down, however their shouts were waved away. They would then be on the wrong end of a decision late on when Dele Alli appeared to handle the ball on the way to netting a late equaliser for Spurs.
Jack O’Connell – The result of the weekend probably came at Bramall Lane where Sheffield United secured a brilliant victory against Arsenal. The chance of the game came in the first half when the bright Nicolas Pepé slotted wide when it looked easier to score. The Gunners would then be punished when some poor marking saw Lys Mousset poke home from close range at a corner. Try as they might Arsenal were unable to force a breakthrough as the Blades stood firm at the back to secure a famous victory for Chris Wilder’s side.
Matt Targett – Aston Villa have had a mixed start to the season on their return to the Premier League after three seasons away. However, with the additions they made over the summer they seem to be settling in well. One of their summer acquisitions would prove the match-winner on Saturday as they went into injury time level with Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1. Matt Targett, formerly of Fulham and Southampton, drove into the box before drilling the ball into the net from a tight angle to spark wild celebrations among the home crowd.
Steve Cook – AFC Bournemouth started as firm favourites when they welcomed Norwich City to Dean Court on Saturday afternoon. Given the Canaries poor away record this season the neutral could have been forgiven for thinking that the Cherries would breeze by the away side. However, it’s never that easy in the Premier League, and the newly promoted Norfolk side showed grit and determination on the way to a good point against a side that had really impressed in the Premier League so far this season.
Jack Grealish – While Matt Targett may make the headlines the undoubted star of the show for Aston Villa on Saturday was undoubtedly captain Jack Grealish. The ever-controversial midfielder found the leveller after going a goal behind when he was on hand to finish off a move that he started from close range. As the game wore on and ten-man Brighton began to tire space began to open for Grealish, and when he spotted an overlapping Targett he played the ball into the full-back to smash in the match-winner.
Harvey Barnes – One player beginning to make a real name for himself in the topflight in Leicester City midfielder Harvey Barnes, whose qualities on the ball as well as work rate are beginning to make him a real star at the King Power. He picked up two assists as the foxes came from behind to beat Burnley on Saturday. Jamie Vary cancelled out Chris Wood’s opener, before Youri Tielemans thundered home a brilliant strike off the crossbar to secure a good win for the Foxes, who continue to look like top six contenders under Brendan Rogers.
David Silva – Manchester City know that any more dropped points may present the league to Liverpool on a plate. A trip to Palace was probably not the desired challenge for Pep Guardiola’s side, however they got off to a god start when they went in front courtesy of Gabriel Jesus, who headed home after a great cross from Bernardo Silva. Then a moment of supreme quality from Raheem Sterling set up David Silva to drill through the legs of the onrushing keeper to double the lead. City went on to see out the game.
Bernard – Everton turned in a superb display against West Ham on Saturday and one of the star men behind it all was Brazilian attacker Bernard. He would open the scoring when he twisted and turned inside the penalty area before poking under the onrushing goalkeeper from a tight angle. He continued to threaten; however, the home crowd became increasingly nervous as time wore on. They had no need to worry though, as substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson came on and curled home a stunner to make the points safe late on.
Danny Ings – Southampton faced a tough test as they travelled to the Midlands to face Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, they were in dreamland when they went in front courtesy of former Liverpool and Burnley forward Danny Ings. Wolves fans though it may be the same old story for them this season, however Raul Jimenez equalised from the spot, having already seen two efforts ruled out by VAR already. It’s a decent point for both sides, while both managers will feel they could have taken all three.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)